A Compass Reading, Screen-Boosted Scouting

When you start something new, whether it is a backpacking trip or a training and communication initiative, the start is exciting and often the easiest part. You are ready to go with dreams of high peaks and success. It is important early on to take a compass reading, adjust if you need to, or at least figure out where you are. I wanted to share the compass reading on Screen-Boosted Scouting, which is now four months old.

What is Screen-Boosted Scouting? SBS is a Montana initiative to help leaders through new and innovative content delivered over screens like phones and computers.

SBS was started because of COVID, but the vision is wider. Screen resources are important for Montana Scouters who face weather and geography distances every day. We want to help with new resources while not creating extra work, confusion, or publishing content that is hard to find or use. That is challenging with all the information leaders juggle every day.

We decided on a monthly release, with a theme, and to lead each release with a 15-minute “SBS Broadcast” video to talk about the current release. We have had two releases now, one for June which was “Get Going or Move Faster” and one for July which was “Scout Led and Fun”. Now it is time for the compass reading.

How is SBS doing?

The most popular content so far – in terms of video views or live-remote training – is the Cub Scout content. The first Beginning Leader Accelerated Success Training (BLAST) class filled up, so another was added for August. Leaders say they want this class to continue.

Our most viewed video is the Cub Scout Fun ZOOM meeting, which is a complete meeting for leaders providing ideas on how to have a fun Cub Scout meeting in a virtual environment.

These are working well, and all the content is being used which includes Merit Badges, Venture Support, and even training for leaders on technology. We know for sure based on remote classes, that SBS has helped 9% of the units in Montana. We estimate based on video usage, that we have helped 13% of Montana Units. Our goal is to help 100% of Montana Scout units in one year. So, we are making progress and on the right track.

As the amount of our content grows, we are continuing to improve how content is organized. This includes a buildout of the SBS webpage and a dedicated YouTube channel. Currently, you can find all our on-demand video content on the Montana Council YouTube Channel and all links, updates, registration information on the SBS webpage.

We continue to look for leaders who can help produce remote merit badge content or provide guest expertise that units can call on in their own remote meetings. Are you this special guest with expertise on anything from welding to knots? Do you have a merit badge you can help produce? Please contact us AND be sure and watch the SBS Broadcast each month, either live or recorded, because they are there for you.

Betsy Eubanks
SBS  Initiative Leader